How to Design an Eco-Friendly Trade Show BoothJANUARY 24, 2020| SpeedPro
A trade show booth can be visually effective and environmentally friendly at the same time. For those who want to make the planet a better place to live, eco-friendly practices and products are crucial to adhere to and use.
If your company is exhibiting at a trade show soon and you need to design a booth, you should know what qualities are essential to environmentally-friendly displays and graphics. Additionally, you can follow a few practices to keep your trade show exhibit as eco-friendly as possible.
Top Considerations for Choosing Displays for Your Trade Show Exhibit
As you design your trade show booth, you’ll need to pick the most environmentally-friendly and high-quality graphics available to consumers. To help you develop criteria for the types of products you choose, you can find a few different qualities you should be looking for in your displays below:
1. Ensure Products Can Be Recycled
No matter how long you hope to use a trade show display or how durable it is, eventually, you’re going to have to replace your displays with something new. Nothing lasts forever, and trade show displays are no exception. To make your booth as environmentally responsible as possible, confirm with the printer that their displays can be recycled.
At SpeedPro, many of our trade show graphics and displays are made to be recycled. For example, our Formulate™ fabric table banners for trade shows look great covering a table, and they also can be recycled once you’re ready to use a different design. No matter who you work with, you should always ask about recyclability to ensure that your displays don’t end up in a landfill.
2. Use Eco-Friendly Ink
When you create a trade show booth, you’re going to need to print out graphics on a variety of materials. This printing process requires ink. In the past, some inks have been toxic to the environment. To prevent this toxicity while still providing the same high visual quality, environmentally conscious companies use eco-friendly inks.
If you’re trying to be environmentally responsible, the first step you should take is to use eco-solvent ink on your trade show displays. This type of ink significantly reduces the amount of toxic solvent-based carriers that come with it. Additionally, printers that use an eco-solvent have been found to emit less volatile organic compounds.
One of the best parts of using an eco-friendly, mild solvent ink is that it combines the durability of a more robust solvent ink while still retaining many of the environmental benefits of water-based ink. The inks help your company be more environmentally responsible and help the manufacturer’s eco-responsibility. These types of inks reduce the amount of damage done to parts of the printer, especially the print head, meaning that companies get to use their machines longer without needing to replace them.
3. Use LED Bulbs
When you were a kid, your parents probably told you at some point to remember to turn off the lights when you left the room. If you asked why, they probably said it was a waste of electricity to keep the lights on. Though they were most likely focused on saving money, wasting electricity can also damage the environment, especially if the power source comes from a power plant that isn’t eco-friendly.
Compared to regular bulbs, LED bulbs are much more energy-efficient, meaning that you won’t use as much energy to power your trade show booth. In fact, LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy than more traditional incandescent lighting. Due to the savings in energy, your booth will be much more environmentally friendly.
Along with the energy savings, LED lights last around 25 times longer than more traditional incandescent lighting. Since these bulbs last longer, you won’t produce as much waste as other lighting options. Reducing waste is one of the most environmentally-friendly steps you can take, so LED lighting is a must-have for green trade show displays.
To give you a clear idea of what kinds of eco-friendly lighting options are available, check out some of the top LED options for trade show booths:
- LED Color Blast Accent Light: This portable lighting fixture helps your booth come alive with either cool white, warm white or RGB color options. All options are 85 to 265 voltage, 13-watt LED blast lights. Use the lights to illuminate towers, funnels and cylinders, among other options.
- LED Flood Accent Light: If you need a great deal of light to illuminate a stage or highlight an area of your booth, LED Flood Accent Lights are ideal. The LED lighting system ensures that even though you’re putting out a significant amount of light, you aren’t burning through energy.
- Slimline Led Lights: Slimline LED Lights come in a few different options that can be mounted on extrusion channels, dovetails and, occassionally, retractable banner stand poles to highlight banners and other smaller elements of your display. The different kinds of slimline light are low voltage, ranging from 5-watt to 12-watt options. Depending on your needs, you may want to look into the LED Spot Arm Light, the Slimline LED Strip Display Light or the Slimline LED Flood Display Light.
4. Durability Is King
While you should always be looking for recyclability in your products, you should also focus on using trade show booth displays that are built to last for a long time. After all, if you’re using recyclable displays that constantly need replacing due to fading or breaking, you’ll create a great deal of waste replacing them. This waste will come from the manufacturing and transportation of replacement displays.
Durable Trade Show Displays
To avoid continually replacing parts of your trade show booth, you should choose durable products that will stand up to the demands of transportation and being repeatedly displayed at trade shows.
Trade show banner stands are some of the most portable options you can have in your trade show exhibit arsenal. They often can be wheeled straight to where they need to be set up and can fit in exhibits of a variety of sizes. As you’ll be using them so much, only going with durable products is one of the best things you can do for the environment.
Panels and banners for trade show displays are also some of the most common materials used, so make sure you go with products that can stand up to the demands of trade show exhibits. Whatever products you need for your booth, make it a point to learn about their ability to stand up to the pressures of transportation and being displayed.
Other than durable displays, you’ll want to use tough display cases to prevent damage to your trade show exhibit while it’s in transit. By properly storing your displays in shipping cases, you can extend the display’s lifespan significantly, maintaining its quality over many uses at trade shows and other events. Cases are crucial to an eco-friendly trade show booth because they ensure you aren’t continually recycling and replacing broken displays.
As you look to make your trade show exhibits more affordable, consider some of the top options for transporting trade show displays securely:
- OCT Orbital Curved Truss Case: If you need to transport displays internationally or across the nation, the OCT Orbital Curved Truss Case is excellent. The case has plenty of space for materials and ensures that these materials stay protected no matter where you take them.
- OCL Large Graphic Case: The OCL Large Graphic Case is built to hold poles and a variety of other display products. Its wheels make the case easy to transport, while the premium latches and blow-molded case provide maximum strength resistance against outside forces. Though the case will hold up a long time, you can rest easy knowing that it can be recycled if needed.
- OCFM Freight Case: Protecting your panels is crucial to having an attractive trade show display. The OCFM Freight Case is specially designed to keep your panels secure from transit damage and other conditions that could potentially harm them. The recyclable case carries up to eight flat panels and is extremely secure. With this case, you won’t have to worry about having to replace panels anytime soon.
5. Go Digital
Too often, companies purchase one-off displays where custom trade show banners or wall panels are only used for a single event. This practice creates a significant amount of waste, even if a company can recycle the majority of these short-term displays. To cut back on the amount of waste generated at your trade show booth, you should consider incorporating monitors and other digital displays.
Say you want to highlight a new product at one trade show but then need to focus on a service at the very next trade show. Without a digital display, you may have to purchase different trade show graphics that match the product or service you’re trying to highlight at the two shows. This need to produce extra materials means you’ll end up with more waste and increase your eco-footprint through the sign production process.
Instead of having to spend money and engage in practices that aren’t environmentally friendly, you can invest in digital technology, like monitors and other screens. The big selling point for digital displays comes down to how fast they can be updated to better represent your needs. Since these digital screens can be updated easily, you’ll get plenty of reuse from them, meaning you can reduce the number of temporary materials you normally would use.
You might, for example, choose one or multiple Vibe Monitor Kiosks to display temporary information about a product. These kiosks look great on backwalls and other key booth locations. If you want something smaller, you could even go for a Formulate iPad Kiosk, which features an iPad that viewers can interact with and explore relevant products. With other digital signs, you can display your graphics and marketing materials on screens, without ever having to waste materials.
Other Eco-Friendly Tips
In addition to the considerations listed above, you can make sure your trade show exhibits are environmentally friendly in a few other ways. Discover more ways you can cut down your environmental footprint while exhibiting at your next trade show:
- Turn off the lights: Besides using LED lights to cut down on energy consumption, you should also make it a practice to always shut off the lights and other energy-sapping displays when your trade show booth isn’t in use.
- Cut back on carbon emissions: When you transport your trade show displays, you’re going to produce some carbon emissions. To cut back on them, try to consolidate your booth materials into shipping containers that help you fit them into fewer trucks or other transportation vehicles. Additionally, you can make an effort to purchase lighter materials, as the heavier your materials are, the more fuel you’ll consume.
- Invest in your booth: When you first put together your trade show booth, you may be tempted to go with cheaper alternatives. If you know that a more expensive option is made with higher quality materials than a cheaper alternative, you should invest in the more expensive option. You’ll get more life out of it, saving money and being more eco-friendly in the long run.
- Repurpose old exhibits: Just because trade show stands or panels have gone out of date for your booth, you don’t have to throw them away or recycle them. Instead, get creative with their use and try to repurpose them within your organization. They may be able to decorate a room or add a nice accent to some other location.
- Smart swag: If you’re handing out products or other pieces of swag at your booth, try to make sure that anything you hand out is made out of recycled or sustainable materials. Many manufacturers have become more eco-friendly, with plenty of swag favorite products, such as branded pencils, pens, reusable bags, notebooks, T-shirts and water bottles, made with sustainable materials.
- Rent near trade shows: If you’re going to rent trade show displays rather than own them outright, try to work with a company that has a nationwide reach. This way, you cut down on shipping costs and the environmental impact of transporting displays long distances. A nationwide company may very well have a local studio that’s close to the trade show and can provide you with the displays you need, rather than having to ship them across the country.
Choose SpeedPro for Eco-Friendly Trade Show Booth Designs
SpeedPro has a strong track record of producing high-quality, environmentally-friendly trade show displays for companies. Many of our trade show displays, such as trade show banner stands, banners, signs and folding panels, among others, can be recycled. With a nationwide network of studios, SpeedPro can provide you with durable, visually-arresting trade show displays that will attract viewers to your booth.
Find your local SpeedPro today to begin discussing the best trade show display options for your exhibit.